I never thought that I would find myself enthralled in a narrative that relies so heavily on the evil of man, but that is exactly the story that “There Will Be Blood” tells.
Daniel Day-Lewis plays “Daniel Plainview” the central character in this movie, who is a oil prospector looking to spread his wealth in the west. At the heart of Daniel is this desire to succeed no matter what the cost. What starts as a simple man looking to profit off of the land of others, turns into a man who will use anything and anyone to further his expansion of wealth. You really see this unfettered man in the way that his no nonsense business style allows him to obtain most of the land that he wants. Even allowing himself to be baptised (which Daniel is anti religion) to obtain the final piece to his expansion. During the baptisim you feel that Daniel still maintains his upper hand as he all but makes a mockery of the preceding even while he is slapped in the face and made to denounce his sin. Every character plays as “just another pawn” in his grand scheme of wealth. And when the pawn has no more use, Daniel casts them aside with no remorse.
Another Central theme of the movie is Daniel’s battle with the local preacher. Both men are very hungry for power and control of the town in which they inhabit, but Daniel always seems to be a step ahead. This battle sheds new light on how no one in this movie is totally free of evil as the preacher is just as hungry for power as Daniel is. The climax of this battle happens at the end of the movie when you see the true colors of both characters come to a head. And this scene played out in Daniel’s home, provides the viewer with the last few pieces to the puzzle in this movie about evil and the greed of man.
At the root of this movie is evil, with many lines blurred so that you have a hard time finding someone good. The greatest evil comes from Daniel and when you leave the theater you have a certain feeling of guilt for having wrapped yourself up so much in his character. But that to me is probably why this movie will win best picture at the Oscars and it very well deserves it. It will be with you for a long time.
Score: 10 out of 10